With my spirits somewhat crushed, I deleted my carefully written list and tucked that dream away. (Sometime after this, when I made carts in moments of weakness and tried to justify it, I noticed that I could e-mail for basic airmail rates, but I had already accepted my lot in life. It's kind of like the time I refused a room in the fancy residence because I had already accepted that I'd be living in my crappy single in the ancient residence for another year. I didn't want to waste all of that energy spent accepting something that actually isn't that bad.)
The lovely Amanda of More Tea, Wesley? posted a review on the collection a couple of weeks ago. We share a mutual love of all things apple, so she knew I was still feeling disappointed about the whole thing, and very kindly offered to send me the decants she wasn't keeping. In addition to this, she put in some extra Blooddrop samples, a couple of Arcana samples (which I will review separately), and a brand-new Blooddrop lip balm. She is vegan, and the lip balm is beeswax-based, so she couldn't use it, but I am not and can. The extras were for being late in sending the package to me, which is beyond generous and just really wonderful.
As it turns out, packages speed from her home in the US to my place here in Canada: she mailed it on Monday, July 28th and I got it Friday, August 1st. Please join in our wonder and awe.
Look at all of the labels I smudged. :( I left my lip balm in my desk at work, so no picture of that.
Together: Women and Horses:
This is the summer 2014 collection, which is based on pictures of women and their horses. Each perfume has a story about it - I strongly recommend you go take a read!
Since the notes are written on all of the decants, I did my best to test these blindly but it wasn't always a rousing success.
In Good Hands
Hazelnut cake, marzipan, honey, and buttercream
In the vial, this one smelled familiar. I have a weakness for hazelnuts, and already have a couple perfumes with it as a prominent note. It's really good, just not very unique. If you were looking for something hazelnut dessert, I would suggest this. It also reminds me of my favourite hazelnut spread, Duo Penotti.(WARNING: that link will play obnoxious music at you. You can mute it at the top of the screen.) It lasted about five hours on my skin.
Our Sunday Morning Rides
French toast with powdered sugar and coffee brewing in the background.
Not the dreaded coffee. Somewhat cautiously, I opened the vial and sniffed. There was only a hint of coffee in the background. It was cake-y and kind of fruity? Hmm. After I put it, the coffee came out super strong for about five minutes, then vanished. I was left with something akin to Froot Loops. It's got that sugary cereal thing. It smells good, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to smell like Froot Loops. It lasted about four hours on my skin.
A Venerable Pair
Orchard peach, warm ginger, chamomile, and white tea.
In the vial, this smells like a juicy peach, something slightly floral and a bit of ginger. On my skin, the tea dominates. It smells a bit like a fruity white tea (I forget which kind) I bought in my first year of university. I love this one, but it didn't last very long on my skin, maybe two hours. I might try to get a bottle of this. I'll have to see if I can get better longevity, though.
Iced tea, juicy pineapple, and sweet passion fruit.
In the vial, this is sweet fruit juice, very tropical. It borders on cloying on my skin for the first ten to fifteen minutes on before the iced tea take a stronger hold. I have a great weakness for iced tea (sweet tea, for Americans in the crowd. We don't drink that unsweetened nonsense in Canada) and so I really like this one. It's not terribly long-lived on my, getting about three hours. But I need a bottle. Because iced tea, the best of all drinks.
Overalls in the Orchard
Various apples, fresh green notes and a touch of bright lemon.
This is the one I was really lusting after. Apple! Tartness! This sounds perfect for me. And it is a lovely tart apple scent. Its only real downfall is that it's not very strong. It has barely any throw. My SO, upon sniffing my wrist, said "That smells...insignificant." I did notice it deepen and get stronger as I wore it, but it still has very little throw. I tend to gravitate toward things that only I can smell (yes, I realize that's a little weird), so this is not a problem for me, but I can see it being a problem for a lot of other people. This lasted about five hours on my skin.
Flagstaff Fillies II
Granny Smith apples, bamboo, Murcott tangerine, green banana, ginger, vanilla, and white tea.
In the vial, this one smells kind of...weird. Like very green, but also fruity. Kind of unripe. I put it on and it immediately reminded me of this gum that Trident used to make (I don't know what kind, some tropical fruit blend) and I have very bad associations with this gum. Namely a drive into downtown Sydney, Nova Scotia, where I was chewing this gum, got sick, and ended up with my aunt holding my hair over a toilet in the Charlotte Street Tim Hortons. I was eight at the time. Ahh, happy family memories. Fourteen years later, and it made my stomach turn. I had to scrub it off.
Onto the extras that were tucked into my package. The Blooddrop Kiss Kiss lip balm is very nice, just a little less smooth and creamy than my holy grail Haus of Gloi lip balms. Mine is Cucumber Soda, and while I don't smell any kind of fizz/soda-esque parts, the cucumber is a nice cool, realistic scent and makes me feel the need for more cucumber water. Which is fantastic.
At the Diner After Rocky
Blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup and maple syrup.
This smells amazing. It smells like my dad's blueberry pancakes (which I have mastered, but they'll never be quite as good as his) with tons of good local maple syrup and the tiniest bit of butter on them. I need a bottle of this. It's part of the permanent collection, fortunately. If you are a gourmand lover, you will adore this. It has excellent throw and decent longevity, getting about seven hours on my skin. Yum. I want some pancakes now.
Carrot, apple, forest oak, wild winds, unbridled musk, pomegranate, molasses and grains.
This is a discontinued scent, but I'm posting my thoughts for posterity. On sniffing from the vial, it smells a little tart and tangy, something sweet and syrupy and something grassy. There's also a sweetness that reminds me of opening a bag of baby carrots. On my skin, it fleshes out: that's definitely carrots, with apples and some syrup, and something softly clean in the background to tie it all together. I love this one. It lasted about five hours on my skin. I was very fortunate that Amanda was actually selling a partial bottle of Epona the day I wore this, so I snapped it up to have some more delicious carrots in my life.
Lemon and bergamot tea cakes and lilac blossoms.
(You can read Amanda's review here. This perfume doesn't officially exist anywhere, and Amanda details that better than I can. Some people have e-mailed and asked Astrid about the perfume, and have purchased it, so it might be worth a shot if you're curious.)
Delicious lemon cake is what I get from the vial, with a tiny hint of something floral. On my skin it's lemon cake for about an hour and then it's all lilac. It's nice, but not nice enough for me to try and pursue it. I prefer Haus of Gloi's Beguiled, to be perfectly honest - the cake here gets overwhelmed by the lilac on my skin, and I wish it was more balanced. It lasts about four hours on my skin, most of the lilac-y.
It was incredibly generous of Amanda to send these to me, and I'm very glad she did, even if my wallet isn't too happy because of the scents I now "need."
After I finished testing all of these, I decided to e-mail Astrid about her basic airmail rates. She was very prompt, letting me know what I needed to send her so she could give me a quote, and she invoiced me via Paypal. I decided on bottles of At the Diner After Rocky, Fabulous Golden, and Overalls in the Orchard. I also grabbed Pink Lemonade (one of the Summer Simplicites) and The Twisted Horse (from The Year of the Horse release, which is still on the site, while supplies last). It was the much easier to stomach amount of $10 to ship these to Canada. I look forward to getting them.
You can buy from Blooddrop here, and you can read Amanda's blog here.